It is 2021 now and so many people are filled with hope and expectations for a better year than the last one. At the same time, COVID is still raging on, and it almost feels unrealistic to look for another job. You may have lost your job due to COVID last year. Or you may still be working and, despite being unhappy, feel like you should be grateful you have a job at all. Before you make any decision, here are some questions to think about…
How happy are you at your current job?
Be honest with yourself on this one. Do you care about what you do? Does this work bring you a sense of gratitude and joy when you think about the difference you make for others? Are you continuously learning and growing? Do you enjoy being around the people you are working with? Are you getting paid enough? Do you have enough work life balance to be able to spend time with your family and people you care about?
If your answer is no to any of the above questions, can you do something about it? Perhaps an uncomfortable conversation with your coworker or boss you’ve been avoiding for quite some time can make a huge difference. The last thing you want is to be stuck, bitter and silent. Things will not get better unless you do something or talk to someone about it. And if a conversation doesn’t make a difference, perhaps it is time to move on.
What if I got laid off?
Many people lost their jobs in 2020. Companies were losing business and budgets had to be cut. Unfortunately, that resulted in massive layoffs. Regardless of the circumstances, layoffs do not always happen randomly. Typically, people who stop growing and striving to be the best at what they do and get too comfortable with the stability are the first ones to be cut. Although there are some exceptions, most companies don’t like to let go of people they cannot afford to lose.
Getting laid off is not a reflection of your value or not being good enough at what you do. So please don’t take it the wrong way if you ended up losing your job. However, if you can be honest with yourself about what happened, you may realize you didn’t really live up to your full potential and you can do so much more. This is something you can think about and seriously consider when looking for your next position.
Now that you know looking for a new job is the right thing to do, here are a few points I want you to consider. First of all, companies are still hiring. During the pandemic, some companies may have fewer needs, while others are in desperate need to hire more help. And you, with your knowledge and expertise, may be the right person for it.
Second, don’t apply to just any job for the sake of having a job. Don’t accept any offer simply because it is better than your current job or being unemployed. You may end up in a similar situation you were in before. It is hard to be the best at what you do when you are not inspired or lit up by it. So stop applying for jobs that don’t inspire you.
Finally, once you find something that really lights you up, do your best at being the best you can be at this job. Or at least never stop striving to be the best. This is not about competing with others or making anyone look bad. It’s about your personal and professional growth, happiness and satisfaction. This is what will make you thrive in your career as well as become indispensable to any employer.
Katherine Bouglai is a career transition coach and the founder of Blossom Career. She works with professionals in technology who have recently lost their jobs and are looking for successful career transition. Her specialties include career change, resume development, job search strategies, job interview preparations, offer negotiations and other related skills.